Thursday, May 27, 2010

Kathleen Doesn't Get Out Much

...so she gets Blockbuster by mail and HBO. And books. Lots of printed books. But it's been a while since I yakked about movies, and when Helen brought up the subject of chick flicks recently, I decided I was due. I loved Doris Day and Rock Hudson when I was a kid--the original chick flick duo. (Tracy and Hepburn are the ultimate, but I don't consider those movies chick flicks. Do you?)

Of the CFs we get these days, I generally genuinely like about one in three. So I've got comments on three this morning, and I hope you'll add yours. Oh, and Sex In the City 2 is not one of my three. The trailer makes me gag. Not my cuppa. But recently I took in 3 CFs almost back to back. Clyde fell asleep on all three, but bottom to top of the heap IMO, they were The Proposal, Leap Year, and The Ugly Truth. Frankly, this setup--uptight professional woman meets guy who takes her down a peg so that he can sweep her off her feet--wears thin lately. (Tracy never took Hepburn down, not even a peg.) But the best of these three--The Ugly Truth--was saved by decent repartee and sexy Gerard Butler. The two characters were a worthy match for each other, and the dialogue kept me smiling. Leap Year was so-so. It's set in Ireland--lots of great scenery, lots of green--and the culture clash adds some fun. In both of these stories, it's hard to see what the heroine could possible see in the guy she's set her cap for, but oh well. Mr. Laid Back Right is Johny On the Spot.

I thought The Proposal was weak, weak, weak. The dialogue was trite, the heroine was a caricature, the hero had little appeal, and they didn't click for me. Given this setup, Sandra Bullock plays the same role the same way every time. She deserves better. She can do better.

Switching genres, I saw one last night that kept me guessing. That's the kind of movie I like. Don't make the dialogue so predictable that I can recite a line before the actor delivers it. Don't give me a story made up of one same-old same-old scene after another. The Burning Plain is a heavy drama--troubled heroine, layered characters, shades of gray. Excellent performances by Charleze Theron and Kim Basinger, along with a wonderful supporting cast. Get ready to be challenged a bit. It's not a linear story, but you soon realize that we're switching back and forth between sets of characters who will somehow come together, and you begin to sense a layering of time periods. I love a well-written script and a writer who takes a few risks. Writer/director Guillermo Arriaga is good at his job. He did The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, with Tommy Lee Jones and Barry Pepper, which explores similar themes (guilt, redemption) in a different way. Both really well-written.

Finally, don't waste your time with The New Daughter. I picked it up because I thought Kevin Costner--who's not much of an actor IMO--usually doesn't get involved in a bad script. This one was absurd. Clyde and I looked at each other when the credits rolled on this one and said, "Why did we sit through that?" It was that mind-numbingly bad.

Oh, hey, has anyone else seen Robin Hood? Worth the price of the theater ticket. Lovely, lovely, lovely. It got mixed reviews from critics, but I'm a Robin Hood fan from way back, and I really enjoyed this version. It's the back story of a legend, and Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett are wonderful in their roles.

What's your take on any of these, and what have you seen lately?

17 comments:

Michele Hauf said...

I'm not much for chick flicks, either, for the same reasons you mentioned, Kathy. Taking the man down a peg is stupid. TSTL heroines. Etc. (Though I did like Leap Year, mostly for Matthew Goode; he was not bad to look at.)

Did you see Date Night? Really fun! The hubby and I laughed a lot.

My favs are costume dramas, and last night I just watch The Young Victoria. Perfect casting with Emily Blunt as Victoria and Rupert Friend as Prince Albert. Very good.

Helen Brenna said...

Kathy, I haven't seen Leap Year. I totally agree with your assessment of The Proposal, but I didn't care for The Ugly Truth much either.

I'm not sure I'd call these chick flicks. Maybe date flicks? Those light, brain candy type stories. Ah, who knows ...

Adding The Burning Plain to my queue and can't wait to see Robin Hood!

Playground Monitor said...

Recently saw The Back-Up Plan with Jennifer Lopez and Alex O'Laughlin and Letters to Juliet with Amanda Seyfried, Gael Garcia Bernal, Vanessa Redgrave and whoever played Vanessa's grandson.

I was entertained, and lately that's all I ask of a movie -- to take me away from reality for a while. However, both movies made me cry because they made me realize true love was always missing in my marriage. So I think I'm going to stay away from chick flicks for a while until my heart heals a little more. I want to go see Iron Man 2. Robert Downey Jr is nice to look at and I enjoyed the first Iron Man movie.

Marilyn

Cindy Gerard said...

Thanks for the reviews, Kathy. I see Crazy Hearts on on pay for view and as soon as I get a minute (make that 90 minutes) i'm going to watch it. Can't wait.
Also want to see Robin Hood.

As for chick flicks - gotta be in the right mood :o)

Anna Dougherty said...

Chick flicks aren't my thing, unless they're on TCM and then I love them all. Modern chick flicks are like drinking a flat fountain drink...not worth the money or trip to the store.

I like period movies, comicbook heroes, and action/suspense. Just saw Iron Man 2 and I loved it!! Waiting to see Robin Hood because the trailers do not thrill me. Blanchett and Crowe are so accomplished that I know the movie will be good but something is holding me back. Oh right, the economy sucks and movies are insanely expensive. We only go to the theater once in a blue moon, so Netflix and HBO are more my speed.

Adding Burning Plain to my queue. I believe it was you that recommended Bottle Shock awhile back and I really enjoyed it.

Leanne said...

I actually kinda liked The Proposal because I enjoy Sandra Bullock, however, she was meaner than usual in that flick. I -may- go to Sex In The City 2 because it will be a girls night out with martinis before... and I really don't get out as much as I should So I'll probably just try to focus on the clothes. Then again, Sex In The City 2 breaks one of my viewing rules. I prefer to watch movies at the theater which last under two hours. Two hours is a looooong time for me to sit in the dark. I suspect I'll see Iron Man 2. My recent fave was Pride and Prejudice from 2005. haha As you can see, I'm not exactly leading the pack.:)

Christie Ridgway said...

Thanks for the reviews! Of those mentioned, I only saw The Proposal and I thought the comedy was way, way too broad. Also did not find any chemistry between the leads.

I just bought Valentines Day but haven't watched it yet. Will report.

I'm going to see SATC2 with a bunch of girlfriends. I enjoy looking at the clothes as much as anything.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Helen, what's a date flick? After the round of 3, Clyde said, "Enough of the chick flicks!" So I know I couldn't get a date with him for any of those unless the couch was close by.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Michele, I liked "Young Victoria" for the costumes, but it was a little slow. Victoria was no Elizabeth I. And I wasn't blown away by the performances in YV. But, oh, the costumes and sets. Scrumptious!

Kathleen Eagle said...

I'm not big on cartoon heroes, but R. Downey Jr"s "Iron Man" is an exception.

I just traded "The Burning Plain" in for "The Road." Viggo!

Kathleen Eagle said...

If you're going to spring for tickets for a movie on the big screen, "Robin Hood" is the one. It's going to win tons of awards for cinematography.

s7anna said...

I'm soo not a chick flick fan...which is hilarious since I only like to read romances (all genres). When it comes to movies, I want action, fighting and some major ka-boom (my word for lots of explosions & fireworks). On my must-watch list is District 13-Ultimatum... it's a movie by Luc Beson (the guy behind The Transporter franchise). It's just a super awesome movie...the first one D-13 was incredible...the fight sequences were just sheer poetry.

Dina said...

I usually enjoy anything with Gerry in it, but was that that thrilled with the movei itself. Have not seen the Proposal yet, looked good though. Not interested in this Robin Hood version.

Debra Dixon said...

I'm late to the party, but I just loved THE UGLY TRUTH. Watched it one week when Wayne was out of town. Liked it enough that I'll make him sit through it.

The ending was a little off for me. Good movie but as a romance person, I wished they'd have let me take a whack at setting the ending up. (g)

Michele Hauf said...

s7anna! A fellow District B13 fan! I loved the first one. Love it! And I missed the second in the theater so I ordered the DVD right away. It's not as good as the second, but well worth the watch. Love Cyril Raffielli.

Betina said...

I just got back from Prince of Persia and I really liked it. Fabulous CGI and wonderful sets, costumes and scenery. And the story, the characters were done right. A sweet, fullfilling story with a lot of action and eye candy to boot!

That said, Guyllenhal (sp, I know, I know)just doesn't have the chops or the presence for such a starring role. This needed somebody with more depth and charisma and a major naughty streak. Jake. .. meh. . . too blue-eyed and sweet for me. I was trying to think who would have done better in the role. . . maybe I can come up with somebody. But Jake had it all in all the right places, buff-wise. He's looking great!

NL Gassert said...

Robin Hood was great, agreed. Well worth the price of the ticket. It's simply a good story.

Prince of Persia is pretty to look at and fun to watch (the stunts are great). Considering it's a Disney movie and based on a video game, I really enjoyed it. I'd love to see a grittier grown-up, rated R version, though.

Now when will there be a Bodyguard or Black Ops movie? That I'd love to see.

Nadja